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How to Secure your WhatsApp and make it more private

Last updated on December 5th, 2019,
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Secure-Whatsapp

Whatsapp is one of the fastest-growing instant messaging app in the world today, and chances are that you also use it. As a result of its popularity, it faces numerous challenges ranging from security to privacy. The recent data privacy and security issues with Facebook, the owner, further raised the concerns. So how do you secure your WhatsApp?

It has recently become a trend to hear stories of people whose WhatsApp account was hijacked, and the stories are not always pleasant. For example, Musicandgist.com reported a case of someone who is currently paying his clients, monthly payments ranging to the sum of #3.8 million Nigerian Naira for something he does not know about. Based on the story narrated, his WhatsApp account was hacked and during this period the hacker carried out business transactions up to the sum of 3.8 million Naira as mentioned above.

How can you make your WhatsApp more secure and private to avoid this kind of experience? Continue reading

How to secure your WhatsApp

WhatsApp, by default, comes with end-to-end encryption features. This means messages you send can only be read by the receiver and can to be tapped into. The same thing applies to voice and video calls. However, if care is not taken, someones else make get a hold of your account and uses it for malicious purposes as if it was you.

Enable Fingerprint Lock

When enabled, you will need to use fingerprint to open and use WhatsApp. While there are many third-party apps that can do this for you, this recent WhatsApp Fingerprint Lock is native to WhatsApp.

  • Open WhatsApp
  • Tap or click the three vertical dots at the top right corner

WhatsApp menu

  • Tap settings >> Account >>Privacy

WhatsApp Privacy Settings

  • Scroll down and tap Fingerprint Lock, Toggle on the Unlock with Fingerprint button

Fingerprint-lock

  • Confirm your Fingerprint pattern and choose the length of time WhatsApp should wait before it automatically locks.

Enable Security Notification

This security feature lets you receive notifications when a contact’s security code has changed. However, regardless of your settings, you still get the end-to-end encryption.

  • Go to settings >> Account >> Security

Security-option

  • Toggle on “show security notifications

Enable Two-Step Verification

The two-step verification is an added security feature that when enabled requires a PIN when registering your phone number with WhatsApp again. This ensures that no one except you or the one who knows your PIN can use your phone number with Whatsapp.

  • Go to settings >> Account >> Two-step Verification

two-step-verification

  • On the next page, tap the Enable Button
  • Enter a 6-digit PIN you want to use and Tap next

two-step-verification-pin

  • Enter the PIN again to confirm your PIN
  • Type in your email address and tap next. This will be used to recover your PIN should you forget. (This is optional but advised)
  • Confirm your email and tap save
  • Your Two-step Verification is now enabled. Tap the “done” Button

two-step-verification-done

  • you can disable, change the PIN or Change Email address anytime you feel like. Go to settings >> Account >> Two-step Verification
  • Occasionally you will be asked to supply this pin before you can access WhatsApp

Best Practices of Staying Safe and secure

It is important to note that even with all these features put in place, WhatsApp isn’t completely secure, Just as most of everything that has to do with the internet. However, for most regular Whatsapp users, it’s security protocols should be good enough.

Some best practices you can do are:

  • Ensure that you update the WhatsApp app regularly to stay safe from security breaches.
  • Do not give out your PIN to another person, if you can not trust them
  • Do not be tempted to click links that a suspicious especially those that tell you Whatsapp will expire soon.
  • Use the authoritative WhatsApp App
  • Do not give out or keep sensitive information on the App

You can check here for more tips on how to keep yourself safe and secure on the internet and social media.